Mason Dining launches kosher program at Southside


Mason Dining has worked closely with Mason Hillel and the Chabad at Mason to provide students, faculty, and staff with an eclectic mix of kosher cuisine at Southside Dining Hall, enabling Jewish students to easily follow kosher dietary rules.  

Two people stand in front of a food stand inside Southside dining hall. Another person, looking like they are prepared to serve food, stands behind the card.
Bracha and Rabbi Ezra Wierner of Chabad at Mason with Char Bar owner Michael Chelst at the opening of Mason Mensch. Photo by Sofia Vetrova

The station, known as Mason Mensch, launched in January and serves kosher dinners Sundays through Thursdays on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Rabbi Daniel Novick from Mason Hillel says his team is grateful to their Mason colleagues for years of partnership that helped get them to this point. “We are not only excited about what this means for our Jewish community now, but how this will help our efforts to make Mason an attractive destination for Jewish students for years to come.” 

Char Bar, a well-known kosher establishment in downtown Washington, D.C., is providing a selection of brisket tacos, hot honey chicken, burgers, kabobs, sandwiches, and more. Production and service will be overseen by a mashgiach—an expert kosher supervisor—to ensure the highest standards are followed.  

This addition to the dining program has been in the works for years and aligns with the university’s overall mission of inclusion. Mason Dining is thrilled to be able to bring the Mason community food that is both delicious and respectful of kosher rules.  

“With such a diverse campus and requests for foods that fit into a kosher lifestyle, we are very excited to bring this innovative and inclusive concept to fruition at Mason,” says Pascal Petter, executive director of Mason’s Auxiliary Services.  

“There’s a Jewish expression, ‘May we go from strength to strength!’” says Rabbi Ezra Wiemer, co-director of Chabad at Mason. “This is a huge milestone for the Jewish community, and we are thankful to the Mason administration for their true commitment to inclusion.”